Here’s my latest from Christian Flash Weekly #58. This week’s story had to incorporate “Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death” (Proverbs 10:2)
Stately as the trees, even when it moved it was as timeless as the forest.
“You got it?”
Grandpa waited years for this moment. He’d taught Reggie how to track since the time he learned to walk. You might say he cut his teeth in the forest.
“Line it up now.”
“Got it grandpa.”
Reggie looked down-scope and set the crosshairs at the buck’s head. “Sure.”
Most people hunted the wrong way, grandpa always said. Scattering deer corn and hiding out in a deer blind wasn’t real hunting, he always said. The hunt itself is a God-given, he’d said. It’s always about the hunt, the hunt a treasure hunt. To hide out in a deer blind waiting for the deer to come to you is an ill-gotten treasure, he’d long taught Reggie. But a righteous kill delivers both the predator and prey from death. The hunt—the God-given hunt—was, for grandpa, something transcendent.
“Okay now, take a deep breath. Close your eyes if you have to just for a moment. Say your prayers.”
Reggie did as grandpa said.
This was the moment the two of them had waited for. Grandpa always said that as soon as Reggie sprouted that first hair under his arms he’d take him out to hunt and teach him what it meant to be a man.
Reggie was a trigger away from being a man.
Heart beating in his ears, his brow lined with sweat, Reggie’s trigger finger twitched just a bit.
“Slow down now, take another breath if you need. It’s time son. It’s time to be a man. Do it.”
Reggie wanted to do it. He wanted to be a man. He looked at the deer down the scope. But he couldn’t, he wouldn’t, he shouldn’t. But he had to, if he wanted to be a man.
“Okay Reggie, it’s time.”
Reggie swallowed hard and let the rifle’s barrel down. Tears welling in his eyes, he looked at grandpa. “Sorry grandpa, I can’t. I won’t.”
Grandpa looked at Reggie long and hard. “Is that your decision?”
“Then now you are a man.”